Co-owner of Touch and Play Laurence Meyer is pictured wearing one of the visors made available for members
Photo: Patricia Pitsch/Maison Moderne
When Luxembourg gym managers were told they could reopen to the public from 1 June with stringent hygiene measures, Laurence and Frédéric Meyer of Touch and Play had to think on their feet.
The classes concept of their Gasperich-based fitness centre is all about movement challenges at eight different stations in their four specially designed rooms. To meet the physical distance requirements set out by the government, they would have had to dramatically reduce capacity for their classes, severely disrupting their business model.
“It was really difficult for us to do this kind of training with two metres distance between people. It’s really different our group classes are really different from other gyms,” Laurence told Delano.
They took their time and while customers were slowly returning to gyms in the neighbourhood, the Luxembourg-French couple devised an entire hygiene protocol, at the centre of which are visors.
Made in Spain, by the same company that came up with Touch and Play’s light flooring concept, the visors are made to be robust so that “when you do a burpee or jumping jack it doesn’t fall apart,” Laurence explained.
Offered in three different sizes, the visors enable participants to remove their regular mask and breathe unrestricted while following the 45-minute sessions. “You don’t get fog and you can still train if you wear glasses,” the Luxembourger explained.
Most importantly, the visors mean that they didn't have to reduce the capacity of their classes when they reopened on 1 July, for the first time since lockdown began on 16 March.
New hygiene protocols
On Wednesday, members discovered the new health and safety protocols: they must now arrive in a mask, remove their outdoor shoes, use hand disinfectant when they arrive, before entering the sports room and when leaving, they can only wear shoes that have not been worn outdoors and must leave all personal items in the locker. Perhaps, the most dramatic measure beside the visors is that all members now undergo a compulsory temperature check upon entering the centre.
“Most gyms won’t take the temperature. We really want to stay in control. These are our rules until we see the situation gets better. The gel we will keep using forever,” she said.
When it first opened in May 2019, Touch and Play installed a specialist ventilation system, regularly bringing fresh air from outside into the rooms which, Laurence says helps reduce transmission risk.
Furthermore, the Touch and Play team has reduced the amount of materials used during sessions, to limit potential virus transmission sites. For instance, for strength sessions, participants will use their own body weight.
“We looked at gyms all over the world, our conceptor in Spain and the international measures for gyms.We put everything together and wanted to go as deeply as possible into these measures,” Laurence said.